Bird Count India recently conducted two workshops on bird monitoring and documentation in Mumbai: one at Mahim Nature Park, organized by the Mumbai Birdwatcher’s Club on 24th September 2016 and the other at IIT Powai, organized by IIT Bombay on the next day. The objective of the workshops was to encourage the large and growing pool of birders in Mumbai and nearby areas to monitor birds regularly and systematically document Mumbai’s birdlife.
The workshop at the impressive Mahim Nature Park was attended by 95 birders. The enthusiastic crowd had a mix of senior and beginner birders. The workshop, delivered by Ramit Singal, included sessions on how to use eBird, and on how documentation and systematic methods of birding can add to the collective knowledge of birds. Amey Ketkar, Prathamesh Desai and Shashank Dalvi rallied the participants and urged them to participate in something more systematic and regularly report sightings on eBird.
Following the workshop, a short late evening birdwalk saw 93 participants enjoy some nice views of many birds, including an immature Eurasian (Common) Cuckoo, before calling it a day. For most participants, this was the first time they were using the eBird app in the field.
The workshop at Mahim Nature Park was followed by another one in IIT Powai the next day. The pre-workshop birding session at Jal Vihar and the Powai lake was attended by 28 people – including birders barely 10 years of age and birders who had over 10 years of experience with birding! From Grey Hornbills to Glossy Ibis to migrating Green and Greenish Warblers – the walk was action-packed and everyone had a great time.
The birding session was followed by the workshop which saw a turnout of 25 participants. Some of the birders at IIT Powai had already participated in events like the Campus Bird Count and pitched in with their support of the practice of regularly documenting the birdife in an area as well as on eBird. A short session on introduction to birding was also held at the venue. A special thanks to S. Sivaramakrishnan, Kadambari Devarajan and Prabhu Ramachandran for organizing the workshop.
Mumbai is home to a large and active birding community. The response to these workshops was very encouraging and we hope that a number of people in the region will engage in documenting the birds of the region in a systematic way to get a better understanding of the regional avifauna.
If your organization or an organization in your area is interested in conducting such workshops, please write to us about it!